Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and Kenya PET Recycling Company Limited (PETCO Kenya) have today signed an Agreement of Cooperation towards holistic management of PET plastic bottles in Kenya.
As part of the ongoing efforts to promote responsible and sustainable waste management, manufacturers through KAM and PETCO Kenya have committed to jointly develop strategies, initiatives and infrastructure to ensure efficiency in the collection, processing and recycling of PET plastic bottles in the country; while improving the socio-economic conditions of waste collectors.
Speaking during the signing ceremony the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Mr Mohammed Elmi noted the need for a drastic behavior change in order to have a lasting impact in waste management. Adding that, ‘by working as one unit and in line with the right framework of cooperation, we are assured of channeling all efforts towards a shared goal. We also encourage all manufacturers and producers of PET to join an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme.’
NEMA Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu reiterated the commitment of the authority to managing PET waste, stating that there is an urgent need for data on PET. ‘We need to standardize PET manufacturing in order to stabilize the ability to recycle. We also want to assist in harmonizing county laws in the transportation of plastics, and establish common taxation regimes, in order to support the recycling sector,’ said Prof Wahungu.
Also present, KAM Chairman Sachen Gudka noted the spirit of the partnership is intended to foster synergy from members and partners to enhance sustainable resource management and circular economy, as well as to support the growth of the recycling industry, along the manufacturing and waste management value chain.
‘This is a welcome initiative in the country, efforts to recycle plastic bottles have been progressive, but the introduction and partnership with PETCO Kenya is poised to accelerate the recycling process and attainment of the Big Four’s manufacturing agenda while creating avenues for employment opportunities for thousands of youth along the waste management value chain,” noted Mr. Gudka.
On his part, PETCO Kenya Board of Directors Kimani Rugendo reiterated that establishing an effective recycling process, would ensure the development of a circular economy for plastic waste, by regenerating value out of used plastic bottles.
“Through this agreement we aim to generate wealth from waste and the resultant value chain that can be set up around this process,” said Mr. Rugendo.
Under the agreement, KAM will lead in and engage in research on PET resin in Kenya through their linkages with government agencies and member. In addition, it will undertake lobbying and advocacy with the various government agencies and the legislative to push for the creation of laws on joining of Extended Producer Responsibilities among its members.
On the other hand, PETCO Kenya will develop a framework for post-consumer sustainable management of plastic bottles management while also driving awareness creation amongst consumers on the extended consumer responsibility.
The agreement of cooperation is anchored on the obligations setup within the Frame of Cooperation that was signed between KAM and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in May 2018.